Sir Edwin Landseer

Edwin Landseer

Sir Edwin Henry Landseer RA was an English artist and sculptor who resided from 7 March 1802 to 1 October 1873. He is most famous for his drawings of animals, especially horses, dogs, and stags. However, his lion paintings at the foot of Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square are his best-known creations.

About Edwin Life

The son of John Landseer A.R.A. and Jane Potts, engraver Landseer was born in England. [3] His artistic capabilities helped him gain because he was considered a prodigy. The historical artist Benjamin Robert Haydon, who inspired the young Landseer to do autopsies to comprehend animal musculature and skeletal structure completely, was one of the artists under whom he learned, together with his father and other artists.   The Royal Academy had an impact on Landseer's life. In 1815, when he was only 13, he joined the exhibition as an "Honorary Exhibit." At the bare statutory minimum of 24, he was chosen as a Member, and five years later, in 1831, he was chosen as an Academician.

Charles Robert Leslie, who had known him, remembered him as "a curly-headed lad, spreading his time among Polito's wild creatures at Exeter Chanqe and the Royal Academy Schools." They went to Scottish together in 1824, and the experience greatly influenced Landseer.

Georgiana Russell, Duchess of Bedford, had a picture painted of her by Landseer in 1823. They started dating, irrespective of the fact that she was 20 years older than him.

He received a baron in 1850, but even though he was selected to head the Royal Academy in 1866, he turned it down. Landseer was plagued by sudden onset of sadness, hypochondria, and despair for the duration of his life, which were regularly made worse by drink and drug use. Landseer experienced what is now thought to be a serious nervous breakdown in his 30s.   Landseer suffered from mental acuity in his final years, and at his family's request, he was institutionalized in July 1872. 14 months later, in 1873, Sir Edwin Landseer passed away. In remembrance of him, half-mast flags were flown across England, blinds were pulled, and wreaths were placed all around bronze lions that he carved in 1867 for Admiral Nelson's Column and the statue in Trafalgar Square. Large crowds of Britons showed up to see his funeral procession pass.

Works by Edwin Landseer

A significant figure in 19th-century British art, Landseer's paintings can be discovered in London's Wallace Collection, Kenwood House, Victoria & Albert Museum, and Tate Britain. He also performed together with Frederick Richard Lee, another painter.

Landseer had huge popularity and had an unparalleled reputation as a wildlife painter in Victorian Britain.

  The release of engravings of his artwork, many of which were produced by his brother Thomas, largely contributed to his reputation and financial success.

The legend that St. Bernard rescue dogs in the Alps carry a little barrel of liquor on their collars is said to have its genesis in one of his earlier paintings. Two dogs are represented standing over a man completely buried in snow in the 1820 painting Alpine Mastiffs Reanimating a Distressed Traveller. One of the dogs is barking to bring attention, while the dog gripping the toy barrel is shown licking the man's hand to awaken him.

His popularity cut through social strata; middle-class households frequently displayed duplicates of his paintings, and the aristocrats admired him. The artist got numerous commissions from Queen Victoria. He was reportedly commissioned to paint many royal pets before being invited to portray ghillies and gamekeepers. Then, as a gift for Prince Albert, the queen had a painting of herself painted the year before her wedding. He taught Victoria and Albert how to etch and painted portraits of Victoria's young children, sometimes with a dog at their sides. Moreover, he sketched two images of Victoria and Albert in dresses for costume balls, where he was a visitor.   A life-size equestrian picture of the Queen, produced from earlier sketches, was one of his final works, presented at the Royal Academy in 1873.

Scotland, where Landseer first traveled in 1824, and the Highlands in especially, which supplied the themes (both human and animal) for many of his significant artworks, were connected closely with Landseer. The paintings comprised his quick wins The Hunting of Chevy Chase (1825–1826), An Illicit Whisky Still in the Highlands (1826–1829), and his later efforts like The Monarch of the Glen (1851), a majestic stag study, and Rent Day in the Forest (1853). (1855–1868). He received an assignment in 1828 to provide artwork for the Waverley Edition of Sir Walter Scott's books.

Landseer became the official name for the variant of Newfoundland dog that, rather than being black or mostly black, contains a blend of black and white. This is due to the appeal and importance of Landseer's paintings portraying canines aiding humanity. In his artworks glorifying Newfoundlands as water rescue dogs, most especially Off to the Rescue (1827), A Valuable Member of the Humane Society (1838), and Saved, Landseer popularized this variation (1856). In Saved, the dog protects the infant without any noticeable operator interaction, emphasizing the commitment of noble creatures to humans that is linked with the Victorian image of children in the paintings.

Laying Down The Law by Landseer (1840) is a whimsical satire on the legal community. A poodle symbolizes the Lord Chancellor in the picture of a pack of dogs.

The Shrew Tamed was a problematic entry at the 1861 Royal Academy Exhibition due to its subject matter. It showed a big horse sitting on its knees in a field of grass in a corral, with a pretty young woman lying on its flanks and gently brushing its head with her hand. The caption in the brochure claimed it as a depiction of famous equestrian Ann Gilbert using John Solomon Rarey, recognized as the "horse whisperer "'s, taming skills. The picture of a lethargic woman possessing a strong animal disturbed critics, and some assumed Landseer was referencing the famed courtesan Katherine.

Walters, who was then at the height of her fame.   Walters was a good rider and regularly showed out riding in Hyde Park with other "beautiful horsebreakers."

Pessimistic elements can be observed in some of Landseer's later works, including his 1860 works of art Man Proposes, God Disposes, and Deluge in the Highlanders. In the latter, two polar bears can be seen playing with dead people's bones and another journey to the Arctic by Sir John Franklin's relics. Thomas Holloway paid valuations for the artwork, which now displays in the University of London's Royal Holloway picture gallery. When exams are given in the gallery, it is traditional for the college to place a union jack over the artwork since there is a widespread rumor that individuals become insane when they sit close to it. A picture of Louisa Caroline Stewart-Mackenzie with her daughter Maysie was painted by Landseer in 1862.

After Thomas Milnes' set-in-stone lions were denied, the government ordered Landseer to create four bronze lions for the base of Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square in 1858. Landseer agreed, but only on the premise that he could put off beginning his job for another 9 months. He also delayed the process by asking for copies of casts of a real lion that he believed was kept at the college in Turin. Due to the difficulty of the request, the casts did not arrive until the spring of 1860. The lions were created in Carlo Marochetti's Kensington studio, where he also sculpted them. Landseer's poor health and his complicated relationship with Marochetti slowed down work.

Death of Edwin Landseer

On October 1, 1873, England honored Landseer's passing in various ways. Businesses and apartments dropped their blinds, flags flew at half-staff, tributes were placed on his bronze lions at the base of Nelson's monument, and vast crowds lined the streets to watch his funeral convoy pass. In London's St. Paul's Cathedral, Landseer was laid to rest. 

Finding the Otter, Nell Gwynne, and The Dead Buck were three incomplete paintings by Landseer that were on easels in his studio when he passed away. John Everett Millais honored his friend's final wish to finish the works, and he did so.


According to legend, Landseer could paint continuously with both hands, such as drawing a horse's head with the right hand and its tail with the left. When the impulse hit him, he was renowned for being able to paint quite swiftly. He could also put off doing some projects for months or even years.

He was the godfather of Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens, an architect whose father was a friend of Landseer's.

Sort by:
The Arab Tent 1866

The Arab Tent 1866

$55.00 – $2,650.00